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World Health Organization resumes coronavirus trial on malaria drug hydroxychloroquine after examining safety concerns

June 3, 2020 / Berkeley Lovelace Jr., William Feuer

The World Health Organization is resuming its trial of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug backed by President Donald Trump to combat the deadly coronavirus, after temporarily halting research over safety concerns. 

The Data Safety Monitoring Board decided there was no reason to discontinue the international trial after reviewing available data on the drug, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference Wednesday at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” he said. 

On May 25, WHO announced it had temporarily suspended its trial of the drug over safety concerns. The announcement came days after a study published in medical journal The Lancet, which is now being reexamined, found that hospitalized Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t take it.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Surgio Health as well as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG).

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